Deadline: February 17, 2017
Learning for the Empowerment and Advancement of Palestinians (LEAP) is an educational empowerment program for Palestinian refugee-youth in Lebanon dedicated to nurturing the intellectual growth and creative curiosity of our students. LEAP encourages youth to become agents of change by supporting them in their educational pursuits during their most formative years. LEAP aims to illuminate the plight of Palestinian refugees, particularly in Lebanon, through volunteer-run educational programs and scholarship opportunities; simultaneously facilitating a rich cultural exchange, and deepening the understanding of Palestinian refugees. It provides a space in which ideas, goals and aspirations can be nurtured to their full potential. Learn more.
The SHINE project (Summer Help IN English) is a summer intensive English program. LEAP recruits volunteers to provide English courses and recreational activities, while living and working in the refugee camps of Lebanon. In turn, our volunteers learn about the Palestinian refugee reality in general, but particularly in Lebanon where the situation for Palestinian refugees is particularly dire, especially in recent years due to the Syrian refugee crisis. Volunteers and students share a mutual learning experience. Upon return to their home communities, volunteers are encouraged to raise awareness about the plight of Palestinian refugees and amplify the voices of refugees through report-backs, information sessions, and other community events. In addition to the remedial English classes, SHINE offers students weekly field trips and recreational activities to encourage physical and emotional growth at a pivotal stage in students’ lives. Some of these activities include yoga, debke (a Palestinian folkloric dance), theater, social media, film, photography, poetry, and creative writing.
WHY LEAP IS IMPORTANT
Only one third of refugee-students enrolled in first grade at UNRWA schools go on to complete their high school education. One major factor contributing to high dropout rates is failure to pass the Lebanese Brevet high-school entrance examination. The exam is administered inEnglish and Palestinian refugee students exhibit high failure rates in marked contrast to their Lebanese counterparts simply because they are not proficient in English. Project SHINE provides a summer session in remedial English in order to prepare students for the Brevet examination, strengthen their English proficiency, and provide a space for intellectual and recreational activities to change the routine of camp life during the summer and nurture children’s intellectual curiosity and growth.
LEAP seeks dynamic, compassionate, and motivated volunteers who enjoy working with young adults; value the right to quality education for all people; believe in refugee-rights; have a passion for social justice; maintain respect and diplomacy in their interactions with people of different backgrounds; and are capable of working under challenging circumstances. Volunteers must be prepared to work in small classrooms with sporadic or scarce electricity, extreme heat, and limited resources. Volunteers must also be able to endure difficult living conditions such as cramped and uncomfortable apartments, as well as extreme heat and discomfort. Most importantly, LEAP volunteers must be culturally sensitive and consideration of local norms, as well as carry themselves in a mature, appropriate, and respectful manner at all times during the program since they are both representatives of LEAP and by extension, our partners.
Volunteers must demonstrate experience in one or more of the following: previous work or knowledge of the MENA region, particularly Lebanon; Arabic; an understanding of the social and cultural dynamics of the region; educational experience; previous work with youth in tutoring, afterschool programs, recreational activities, etc; advocacy; refugees/IDPs; management and coordination; working abroad; and/or psycho-social support. We strongly encourage interested applicants to apply. This is a unique opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the Palestinian refugee reality in Lebanon. The Program has consistently been described as a meaningful, unforgettable experience, for youth and volunteers alike, and we hope that you will join our team.
To apply to Project SHINE, please complete the online application before the deadline on 17 February 2017.
To learn more, support our projects and/or partner with us, please visit the LEAP website.